Costa Mesa’s largely vacant Trinity Broadcasting Network HQ is ready for resurrection

The empty Trinity Broadcast Network compound in Costa Mesa on Wednesday.
The Trinity Broadcast Network compound in Costa Mesa on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Seven years after Christian media company Trinity Broadcasting Network shuttered its Costa Mesa headquarters — an ornate palazzo-styled structure south of the 405 Freeway — the 6-acre site may finally be ready for its resurrection moment.

City planning commissioners on Monday gave their blessing to a proposal to use the newly renovated property, located at 3150 Bear St., to host events inside the 65,924-square-foot structure, which was built in 1978 and contains a domed atrium with a ceiling mural, ballroom and dining room, as well as on the grounds.

Local real estate proprietor Manny Khoshbin, owner of the Irvine-based Khoshbin Co., purchased the property in 2021 for a reported $22 million, after previous plans to operate an international language school at the property failed to materialize.


Khoshbin shared his hopes for the project with commissioners Monday.

The former site of Trinity Broadcasting Network headquarters at 3150 Bear St. in Costa Mesa.
The former site of Trinity Broadcasting Network headquarters, a 6-acre site at 3150 Bear St. in Costa Mesa was purchased in 2021 for a reported $22 million.
(City of Costa Mesa)

“We’ve spent over $1 million improving the site, beautifying it, and I think the neighborhood really enjoys seeing some life [come back] into the property,” he explained. “We’ve been getting a lot of requests for events, weddings and birthdays, because it’s such a beautiful landscape.

“I wanted to do this event center to add an amenity to the neighborhood and generate some revenue as well as create some jobs — that was the plan.”

City staff have placed some conditions on the site’s use, allowing no more than 225 people on the grounds at once, including support staff, and capping operations at 9 p.m. during weekdays and 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. No amplified sounds are allowed outdoors, and no more than four musicians may play acoustically during any outdoor event.

Free valet parking will be offered, and access to the property will be restricted to a single entrance on Bear Street. A currently unfinished third floor is not to be used as office or event space without approval from the city, and while the building contains a kitchen, no cooking or food preparation may take place on site.

Operators can apply for up to four special event permits annually, to host one-off events such as outdoor car shows or open houses, but are not to use the site as office space while events are taking place.

A handful of residents, particularly those who live in neighborhoods directly east and south of the property, expressed concerns about the potential for noise and traffic, particularly during the busy holiday season.

“I think the location, as far as what they’re trying to do is pretty good,” said neighbor Gary Marshall. “[But] Bear Street does get a little busy. My concern is about valet parking with cars lining up on Bear Street. There’s only one entrance in and out of that property.”

City staff noted the project was not estimated to incur more than 100 peak hour trips so did not trigger regulations requiring a parking study to be performed ahead of approval. They also explained that while a deviation from the city’s parking requirement was being sought, which would have mandated 664 spaces for the behemoth structure, the cap on attendance would keep parking demand in check.

Still, some commissioners were not convinced that what appeared to be a relatively modest use of such a palatial space would not creep to include more events with higher capacities in the years ahead. Jon Zich said he was concerned the panel was being asked to approve “a camel’s nose under the tent.”

He cited a portion of Khoshbin’s valet parking plan indicating the infrastructure could support up to 401 vehicles and wondered whether the third floor might someday be used for more.

“Why would we contemplate that? Because somewhere down the road, it’s likely to be that and, at that point, it’s a different project than what’s in front of us today, and different from what residents have had the opportunity to consider,” Zich said.

“There’s a project in front of us, then there’s the project that represents the entirety of the camel that isn’t in front of us, and I’m concerned about that.”

Panelists ultimately approved the project in a 5-1 vote, with Zich opposed. Commissioner Jimmy Vivar encouraged any residents with concerns to monitor activity during events and report any issues or potential code violations they may observe.

“You are our eyes and ears in the community,” Vivar said, explaining code enforcement officers may be sent out to investigate potential violations. “If anything does happen, I encourage you to reach out to the city.”